911 research outputs found

    Perspectives in Cell Cycle Regulation: Lessons from an Anoxic Vertebrate

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    The ability of an animal, normally dependent on aerobic respiration, to suspend breathing and enter an anoxic state for long term survival is clearly a fascinating feat, and has been the focus of numerous biochemical studies. When anoxia tolerant turtles are faced with periods of oxygen deprivation, numerous physiological and biochemical alterations take place in order to facilitate vital reductions in ATP consumption. Such strategies include reversible post-translational modifications as well as the implementation of translation and transcription controls facilitating metabolic depression. Although it is clear that anoxic survival relies on the suppression of ATP consuming processes, the state of the cell cycle in anoxia tolerant vertebrates remain elusive. Several anoxia tolerant invertebrate and embryonic vertebrate models display cell cycle arrest when presented with anoxic stress. Despite this, the cell cycle has not yet been characterized for anoxia tolerant turtles. Understanding how vertebrates respond to anoxia can have important clinical implications. Uncontrollable cellular proliferation and hypoxic tumor progression are inescapably linked in vertebrate tissues. Consequentially, the molecular mechanisms controlling these processes have profound clinical consequences. This review article will discuss the theory of cell cycle arrest in anoxic vertebrates and more specifically, the control of the retinoblastoma pathway, the molecular markers of cell cycle arrest, the activation of checkpoint kinases, and the possibility of translational controls implemented by microRNAs

    Angiogenic signaling in the lungs of a metabolically suppressed hibernating mammal (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)

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    To conserve energy in times of limited resource availability, particularly during cold winters, hibernators suppress even the most basic of physiologic processes. Breathing rates decrease from 40 breaths/minute to less than 1 breath/min as they decrease body temperature from 37oC to ambient. Nevertheless, after months of hibernation, these incredible mammals emerge from torpor unscathed. This study was conducted to better understand the protective and possibly anti-inflammatory adaptations that hibernator lungs may use to prevent damage associated with entering and emerging from natural torpor. We postulated that the differential protein expression of soluble protein receptors (decoy receptors that sequester soluble ligands to inhibit signal transduction) would help identify inhibited inflammatory signaling pathways in metabolically suppressed lungs. Instead, the only two soluble receptors that responded to torpor were sVEGFR1 and sVEGFR2, two receptors whose full-length forms are bound by VEGF-A to regulate endothelial cell function and angiogenesis. Decreased sVEGFR1/2 correlated with increased total VEGFR2 protein levels. Maintained or increased levels of key ã-secretase subunits suggested that decreased sVEGFR1/2 protein levels were not due to decreased levels of intramembrane cleavage complex subunits. VEGF-A protein levels did not change, suggesting that hibernators may regulate VEGFR1/2 signaling at thes level of the receptor instead of increasing relative ligand

    Aestivation: Signaling and hypometabolism

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    Aestivation is a survival strategy used by many vertebrates and invertebrates to endure arid environmental conditions. Key features of aestivation include strong metabolic rate suppression, strategies to retain body water, conservation of energy and body fuel reserves, altered nitrogen metabolism, and mechanisms to preserve and stabilize organs, cells and macromolecules over many weeks or months of dormancy. Cell signaling is crucial to achieving both a hypometabolic state and reorganizing multiple metabolic pathways to optimize long-term viability during aestivation. This commentary examines the current knowledge about cell signaling pathways that participate in regulating aestivation, including signaling cascades mediated by the AMPactivated kina

    Navigating oxygen deprivation: Liver transcriptomic responses of the red eared slider turtle to environmental anoxia

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    The best facultative anaerobes among vertebrates are members of the genera Trachemys (pond slider turtles) and Chrysemys (painted turtles), and are able to survive without oxygen for up to 12 to 18 weeks at ∼3 °C. In this study, we utilized RNAseq to profile the transcriptomic changes that take place in response to 20 hrs of anoxia at 5 °C in the liver of the red eared slide turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Sequencing reads were obtained from at least 18,169 different genes and represented a minimum 49x coverage of the C. picta bellii exome. A total of 3,105 genes showed statistically significant changes in gene expression between the two animal groups, of which 971 also exhibited a fold change equal to or greater than 50% of control normoxic values. This study also highlights a number of anoxia-responsive molecular pathways that are may be important to navigating anoxia survival. These pathways were enriched in mRNA found to significantly increase in response to anoxia and included molecular processes such as DNA damage repair and metabolic reprogramming. For example, our results indicate that the anoxic turtle may utilize succinate metabolism to yield a molecule of GTP in addition to the two molecules that results from lactate production, and agrees with other established models of anoxia tolera

    New Approaches to Comparative and Animal Stress Biology Research in the Post-genomic Era: A Contextual Overview

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    Although much is known about the physiological responses of many environmental stresses in tolerant animals, studies evaluating the regulation of stress-induced mechanisms that regulate the transitions to and from this state are beginning to explore new and fascinating areas of molecular research. Current findings have developed a general, but refined, view of the important molecular pathways contributing to stress-survival. However, studies utilizing newly developed technologies that broadly focus on genomic and proteomic screening are beginning to identify many new targets for future study. This minireview will provide a contextual overview on the use of DNA/RNA sequencing, microRNA annotation and prediction software, protein structure and function prediction tools, as well as methods of high-throughput protein expression analysis. We will also use select examples to highlight the existing use of these technologies in stress biology research. Such tools can be used in comparative stress biology in the characterization of animal responses to environmental challenges. Although there are many areas of study left to be explored, research in comparative stress biology will always be continuing as new technologies allow the further analysis of cell function, and new paradigms in gene regulation and regulatory molecules (such as microRNAs) are continuing to be discovered. Building upon the findings of past research, while utilizing new technologies in the appropriate manner, future studies can be carried out in new and exciting areas still unexplored. Proper use of rapidly developing technologies will help to create a complete understanding of the animal stress response and survival mechanisms utilized by many diverse organisms

    The evaluation of anoxia responsive E2F DNA binding activity in the red eared slider turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans

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    In many cases, the DNA-binding activity of a transcription factor does not change, while its transcriptional activity is greatly influenced by the make-up of bound proteins. In this study, we assessed the protein composition and DNA-binding ability of the E2F transcription factor complex to provide insight into cell cycle control in an anoxia tolerant turtle through the use of a modified ELISA protocol. This modification also permits the use of custom DNA probes that are tailored to a specific DNA binding region, introducing the ability to design capture probes for non-model organisms. Through the use of EMSA and ELISA DNA binding assays, we have successfully determined the in vitro DNA binding activity and complex dynamics of the Rb/E2F cell cycle regulatory mechanisms in an anoxic turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans. Repressive cell cycle proteins (E2F4, Rb, HDAC4 and Suv39H1) were found to significantly increase at E2F DNA-binding sites upon anoxic exposure in anoxic turtle liver. The lack of p130 involvement in the E2F DNA-bound complex indicates that anoxic turtle liver may maintain G1 arrest for the duration of stress survival

    RBioplot: An easy-to-use R pipeline for automated statistical analysis and data visualization in molecular biology and biochemistry

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    Background: Statistical analysis and data visualization are two crucial aspects in molecular biology and biology. For analyses that compare one dependent variable between standard (e.g., control) and one or multiple independent variables, a comprehensive yet highly streamlined solution is valuable. The computer programming language R is a popular platform for researchers to develop tools that are tailored specifically for their research needs. Here we present an R package RBioplot that takes raw input data for automated statistical analysis and plotting, highly compatible with various molecular biology and biochemistry lab techniques, such as, but not limited to, western blotting, PCR, and enzyme activity assays. Method: The package is built based on workflows operating on a simple raw data layout, with minimum user input or data manipulation required. The package is distributed through GitHub, which can be easily installed through one single-line R command. A detailed installation guide is available at http:// kenstoreylab.com/?page_id=2448. Users can also download demo datasets from the same website. Results and Discussion: By integrating selected functions from existing statistical and data visualization packages with extensive customization, RBioplot features both statistical analysis an

    Novel control of lactate dehydrogenase from the freeze tolerant wood frog: Role of posttranslational modifications

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    Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), the terminal enzyme of anaerobic glycolysis, plays a crucial role both in sustaining glycolytic ATP production under oxygen-limiting conditions and in facilitating the catabolism of accumulated lactate when stress conditions are relieved. In this study, the effects on LDH of in vivo freezing and dehydration stresses (both of which impose hypoxia/anoxia stress on tissues) were examined in skeletal muscle of the freeze-tolerant wood frog, Rana sylvatica. LDH from muscle of control, frozen and dehydrated wood frogs was purified to homogeneity in a two-step process. The kinetic properties and stability of purified LDH were analyzed, revealing no significant differences in Vmax, Km and I50 values between control and frozen LDH. However, control and dehydrated LDH differed significantly in Km values for pyruvate, lactate, and NAD, I50 urea, and in temperature, glucose, and urea effects on these parameters. The possibility that posttranslational modification of LDH was responsible for the stable differences in enzyme behavior between control and dehydrated states was assessed using ProQ diamond staining to detect phosphorylation and immunoblotting to detect acetylation, methylation, ubiquitination, SUMOylation and nitrosylation of the enzyme. LDH from muscle of dehydrated wood frogs showed significantly lower levels of acetylation, providing one of the first demonstrations of a potential role for protein acetylation in the stress-responsive control of a metabolic enzyme

    The heart of a hibernator: EGFR and MAPK signaling in cardiac muscle during the hibernation of thirteen-lined ground squirrels, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus

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    Background: Thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) experience dramatic changes in physiological and molecular parameters during winter hibernation. Notably, these animals experience reduced blood circulation during torpor, which can put numerous stresses on their hearts. The present study evaluates the role played by the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in signal transduction during hibernation at low body temperature to evaluate signaling mechanisms. By investigating the regulation of intracellular mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway responses, anti-apoptosis signals, downstream transcription factors, and heat shock proteins in cardiac muscle we aim to determine the correlation between upstream tyrosine phosphorylation events and downstream outcomes. Methods: Protein abundance of phosphorylated EGFR, MAPKs and downstream effector proteins were quantified using immunoblotting and Luminex_ multiplex assays. Results: Monitoring five time points over the torpor/arousal cycle, EGFR phosphorylation on T654, Y1068, Y1086 was found to increase signifi

    Freezing and anoxia stresses induce expression of metallothionein in the foot muscle and hepatopancreas of the marine gastropod Littorina littorea

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    Differential screening of cDNA libraries constructed from the foot muscle of marine snails Littorina littorea revealed several cDNAs that are upregulated during anoxia or freezing exposures, environmental stresses that are naturally endured by this species. One full-length clone of 1196 nucleotides (GenBank accession number AY034179) hybridized with a 1200-nucleotide band on northern blots and encoded a 100-amino-acid protein that was identified as belonging to the metallothionein (MT) family. L. littorea MT shared 45% and 56% identity with the copper- and cadmium-binding MT isoforms, respectively, from another gastropod, Helix pomatia and 43-47% identity with marine bivalve MTs. The L. littorea sequence included the mollusc-specific C-terminal motif Cys-X-Cys-X(3)-Cys-Thr-GIy-X(3)-Cys-X-Cys-X(3)-Cys-X-Cys-Lys that identifies it as a family 2 (mollusc) MT. Northern blot analysis showed that L. littorea MT was upregulated in both foot muscle and hepatopancreas in response to both freezing and anoxia stresses; within 1 h of the beginning of the stress transcript levels rose 2.5- to sixfold of control levels, reaching maximal levels at 12 or 24 h. After 24 h recovery from either stress, transcript levels were reduced again in three cases but remained elevated in hepatopancreas from anoxia-treated snails. Upregulation of MT during environmental stress could serve one or more possible roles, including a function in antioxidant defense
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